Today in labor history, September 15, 1845: Earlier in the year, 5,000 women cotton mill workers in and around Pittsburgh go on strike for a 10-hour day and an end to child labor. Months into the strike, hundreds marched on the Blackstock Mill, one of the largest in the area. The women broke down the factory’s gates and forcibly expelled the scabs, while the men who accompanied them kept the police at bay.
Today in labor history, July 6, 1892: Locked out by management determined to break their union, workers stationed along the Monongahela River spot barges in the middle of the night carrying hundreds of Pinkerton detectives armed with Winchester rifles heading to the Carnegie steel plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Thousands of workers quickly assembled to meet the barges and battled the strikebreakers throughout the day before the Pinkertons surrendered and were evacuated by train.